Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are clever as he.” —Karl Kraus
“They are playing a game.
They are playing at not playing a game.
If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.
—R.D. Laing via @flowchainsensei
“Every context is unique – I can’t assume I know what is going on or have any answers. No matter how much experience I have in a given context (e.g. culture change or agility) or industry (e.g. financial services) I cannot assume I know what I am dealing with before I interact with the system. I cannot afford to have an hypothesis before I engage as that may blind me to what is really going on in that particular system. It always pays to show up with humble curiosity …”
“Because if you think about the ad model — in a traditional ad model, you collect data in order to improve your product or service, with respect to the customers that you have. At Facebook and Google, they collect data in order to essentially create new products that take advantage of the weakness of the audience. It’s a fundamentally different thing. So if, in a traditional ad product, the consumer is the product, not the customer — in Facebook and Google they’re the fuel. They aren’t even the product. And here’s why it’s a problem: They need your attention. To get your attention, they appeal to low-level emotions like outrage and fear, and they tickle you with rewards, things like notifications. And those things are really habit-forming. And for many people, when you’re checking Facebook or Google two or three times a day for periods of years, habits become addictions. And when you’re addicted, you are vulnerable to manipulation.”
“Quite simply, in fact. (1) Economic globalization, facing no countervailing power, has been able to play many governments off against each other, especially to have taxes cut on wealth and profits. (2) Denied these traditional sources of income, the governments have reduced services, especially for the disadvantaged, and raised regressive taxes, namely on the sale of goods and services. (3) And this has further squeezed the very people marginalized by this globalization, namely those who have endured cuts in their wages, benefits, and protections. There is an economic tide all right, but rather than raising all boats, the buoyant yachts have been swamping the anchored dinghies.”
“In a durable society, each level is allowed to operate at its own pace, safely sustained by the slower levels below and kept invigorated by the livelier levels above … If governance is changed suddenly instead of gradually, you get the catastrophic French and Russian revolutions …
Education is intellectual infrastructure. So is science. They have very high yield, but delayed payback. Hasty societies that can’t span those delays will lose out over time to societies that can. On the other hand, cultures too hidebound to allow education to advance at infrastructural pace also lose out …
When we disturb nature at its own scale, such as with our “extinction engine” and greenhouse gases, we risk triggering apocalyptic forces. Like it or not, we have to comprehend and engage the longest now of nature.”